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Santa Monica City Council to Consider $3.7 Million in Routine Expenses

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By Jason Islas
Lookout reporter

March 18, 2014 -- New on-board computers for firefighters, replacement parts for bus engines and new recycling bins top the list of $3.7 million in routine expenses the Santa Monica City Council will consider at the start of its meeting Tuesday.

Topping the list of expenses is an agreement with California-based Cummins Pacific, LLC, which could top out at $1.8 million over the next three years.

Under the agreement, Cummins Pacific would supply the parts needed to repair the engines of Santa Monica's fleet of natural-gas buses.

“Cummins CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) gas engines are environmentally friendly engines that produce 95 percent less harmful exhaust gases than diesel operating engines,” staff said.

“They are electronically controlled to optimize fuel usage and to generate the least amount of harmful pollutants,” staff said.

In order to ensure that the engines meet state and federal emissions rules, staff said, it's vital the City use “genuine Original Equipment Manufacturer parts.”

Santa Monica's firefighters could soon have new computers in their emergency vehicles if the City Council approves a $275,000 deal with Lehr Automotive.

The computers would replace the department’s on-board computers installed in 2006 that are coming to the end of their useful lives, staff said.

“These computers allow responders to communicate with the dispatch center and others, access critical information, complete necessary reports and view pre-incident plans,” staff said.

The deal would also cover the cost of installing the computers. It would also include five years of maintenance and accidental damage protection, according to City officials.

The City Council will also consider spending $296,000 over the next three years to replace 150 of the City's metal recycling bins each year.

While the City prefers to use plastic recycle bins, the metal bins are more compact and fit into tighter enclosures and alley ways, staff said.

In addition, the Council will look at spending another $170,000 studying the potential environmental impacts of Santa Monica's nascent Downtown Specific Plan.

The draft plan, which will outline the parameters of all future development in the economic heart of the city, was released last February and the City tapped AMEC Environment & Infrastructure, Inc. to draft the State-mandated environmental impact report (EIR).

AMEC's original $601,000 contract was funded by a grant from Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).

“An amendment to the contract is needed to complete the remaining required tasks in the scope such as responding to comments received during the public review period, and making any necessary revisions,” staff said.

“Additionally, since the preparation of the DSP Program EIR began, additional coordination and meetings beyond what was originally scoped have been required between the City and AMEC to address key community issues of concern,” they said.

The City Council could also spend $114,635 on water conservation efforts when it considers extending its contract with ConserveTrack, LLC, a California-based company, to continue providing licensing, hosting, support and maintenance of the City's water-conservation tracking software.
“In addition to tracking the water conservation projects and programs, ConserveTrack can generate detailed reports that include estimated and actual water savings,” staff said.

“These reports are used by staff to report on goals and to comply with grant reporting requirements and bi-annual state reporting requirements.”

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